Calgary Police Cracking Down on Distracted Driving with Spot Covers

distracted driving

According to a new report from the CBC, Calgary police have a new way to catch you if you are one of those sneaky drivers who uses a smartphone while stopped at a red light.

Calgary Police Staff Sgt. Paul Stacey said that there will be spotters at intersections in uniform and in plain clothes. In a statement, he told the Calgary Eyeopener on Friday:

“People are going to be seen and they won’t know it until they’re pulled over. And as crafty as they think they are they’re still going to get a ticket.”People are going to be seen and they won’t know it until they’re pulled over. And as crafty as they think they are they’re still going to get a ticket.”

If the spotter sees you using your smartphone at the intersection, they will radio your licence plate number and car model over to an officer farther down the road, who will then pull you over.

The current penalty for distracted driving in Calgary is a $287 fine and three demerit points.

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  • Richard G.

    What a waste of resources!

    I get the whole distracted driving thing and the use of smartphones “while driving”. But a little leniency at a red light while you’re stopped shouldn’t incur the resources being put into this just so people get ticketed and fined.

    I would expect that the risk of someone being injured or killed while using their smartphone while stopped at a red light is minimal to none.

    Perhaps put those spotters into better policing work.

  • McHuman

    Well, not really. People have abused this privilege and if you are using you phone at an intersection, chances are you’ll be using it while driving too. It’s already a bigger factor in accidents than drunk driving so sonething needs to be done. Be it that or as Montreal doing putting police officers in buses to watch for offenders.

  • Gary Bowen

    Good. It’s about time. I see about five people every single day glued to their cellphones whilst driving. Go Calgary police!

  • Guest

    Careless driving then…”operating a motor vehicle without due car and attention”.
    Just because your stopped and using your phone stills mean you’re not paying attention to your surroundings. I’ve seen idiots on their phone still not moving after the light has turned green,stilll engrossed in there phone. It’s a problem. Highway Traffic Act are laws the police need to do as well as criminal. Your can’t do a RIDE type program to fight cell phone use, you have to use other methods.

  • Drive with care

    Let me guess, you are the guy checking out his phone when the light turns green and he just sits there holding up traffic?

    Good on the Calgary police doing this. Too many idiots killing people because they are more interested in THEIR business than the lives of others.


    What if the spotter thinks your using your phone and false reports your licence? Then what recall do you have? They should have to prove it with photo

  • Bleep Bloop

    Wow they actually do that???? I’ve never heard about that. Good! I’m so sick of seeing people in Montreal on their phones. They think they are so sneaky by holding their phone down in their lap, but the action of their head looking down is a dead giveaway. One time I was walking along ave du parc, and someone was actually typing in one hand with coffee in the other while driving around a bend (and no it wasn’t a tesla driving itself). Aside from the impressive skill required to do that , WTF??? I’m totally down for enforcing distracted driving laws, in motion or stopped.

  • McHuman
  • Amtoine Grant

    No. Somebody with the skill to do that should NOT be ticketed because of what somebody less capable can’t fathom a skilled driver doing. No part of your description says the driver was erratic or approached harming anything/body in any way.

  • Amtoine Grant

    Look, I’m someone who is fully capable of operating a vehicle and a cellphone w/o losing awareness of everything going on around them. Some of us are just better than others. That’s true for everything. I actually respect the distracted driving law, drive alongside the STILL distracted drivers in traffic, and wait until I get to a stop light to look at my phone momentarily. While in motion was one thing(even though I’ve never in 13 yrs had a problem), buy ticketing people at red lights is COMPLETE BS, unless the driver was clearly so distracted they’re not paying attention on green light.

  • McHuman

    I suppose you also believe that you are so skilled that a few beers won’t stop you from driving?

  • huddy

    With that logic we should abolish all speed limits too since F1 drivers can successfully drive 200mph. Bottom line , being able to do it does not make it legal. If its illegal , you shouldn’t be doing it. Your emails/texts are not that important.

  • Concerned Driver

    Maybe you will be unlucky enough to get t-boned by someone who thinks that they are skilled enough to text and drive?

  • Concerned Driver

    Really? I will probably be reading your obituary or that you killed a little child crossing the street in the paper one day.

  • Amtoine Grant

    No, but I do suppose you’re petty enough to pretend you don’t know the difference between impaired & distracted driving just to have something to say.

  • Amtoine Grant

    You’re a delightful person.

  • McHuman

    Both are caused by drivers who believed that they are smarter/better/more skilled than the rest.

    But anyway, you be you. I’m not here to argue.

  • Stefan

    Sooo we just use a phone while driving then?!

  • El Cockblock

    You are an idiot. Every single time I see a distracted driver WHILE RIDING MY MOTORCYCLE I give them sh!t for it. I don’t care if you are a Cirque Du Soleil artist and are skilled enough to juggle bowling pins while driving, your attention is not on the road, where it should be.

    You should have your license revoked.

  • Tim Aucoin

    I fail to understand what is so important that people insist on looking at their phone while behind the wheel of their car! Think back to the days before smartphones and cell phones (if you’re “mature enough” to have these memories). If we needed to speak to someone, we waited till we got home and we called them. If it was urgent, we PULLED OVER AND found a pay phone. NO ONE EVER DIED

  • Tim Aucoin

    The point is not that people are a danger necessarily while stopped at a light, but they are creating a HABIT of looking at their phone while in their vehicle. I promise you that it will work it’s way to the odd glance while driving… “oh, that wasn’t so bad… I think I can safely send a quick text too”… Forget about perceived safety and think about the psychology behind it all. If you “get away with” sending a text while stopped at a light, you will naturally take it to the next step and “push the limit” and try it while driving. No doubt in my mind.

  • Billdozer

    Police should not be hiding and acting like spies. They are public servants. All police should be wearing uniforms and clearly marked vehicles so they can be identified by the public should they need their services. Not hiding behind a bush in a flannel jacket saying gotcha!. $$$

    My parents had their house broken into for the 2nd time and had their jeep stolen. The officer showed up and said he was going on vacation so he would look into it in 5 days. This is the kind of backwards system we are living in. If you actually need them see how well they help. By the way it’s been two weeks since the 2nd break in and 3 months since the first and they haven’t done a thing besides maybe “keep their eyes open”.
    Sorry, end of rant..